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Trump hosts ‘election integrity’ press conference as Mike Johnson visits Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump on Friday gave a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago resort home on election integrity and the border with House Speaker Mike Johnson.

“Election integrity” is a phrase that Mr Trump often uses to describe the lie that the 2020 election was rigged and unfounded concerns about future mass voter fraud. It comes as Johnson faces an ongoing threat to his job from Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican firebrand.

The former president appeared to signal support for the speaker, saying he was doing a good job while they introduced the idea of proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections — the violation of which is already an offence punishable by jail.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump this week has lost three last-ditch bids in three days to delay his hush money trial – with the landmark case looming in a matter of days.

On Wednesday, a New York appeals court judge rejected his latest effort to stall the case based on arguments of New York Justice Juan Merchan’s “refusal” to recuse himself or to hear Mr Trump’s argument of “presidential immunity”.

Jury selection is set to begin on Monday 15 April at 10am.

Key Points

Trump hits Chick-fil-A and orders lunch for customers

Thursday 11 April 2024 01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Mike Bedigan reports:

Donald Trump made a surprise stop on the campaign trail in Atlanta, Georgia, where he indulged in one of his favourite hobbies – handing out fast food.

The former president’s fast food allegiance seemed to have briefly changed, as he replaced his well-documented penchant for McDonald’s for rival US chain Chick-Fil-A.

Pictures showed Mr Trump behind the counter of the restaurant on Wednesday, handing out various items to customers, smiling and taking pictures. The visit came ahead of a scheduled fundraising luncheon.

He ordered 30 milkshakes and “some chicken,” telling staff at the outlet that he wanted to “take care of the customers”.

Read on...

Trump orders food for everyone as he hits a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta

Johnson heading to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Trump

Thursday 11 April 2024 02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson will join Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago for a “joint announcement on election integrity” on Friday, according to the Louisiana congressman’s campaign.

GOP officials have promoted so-called “election integrity” legislation in the wake of the 2020 elections, echoing many of the false claims promoted by Mr Trump and his allies in his ongoing attempts to undermine the outcome and discredit election officials and policies that certified his loss.

Mr Johnson played a central role among members of Congress in rejecting Mr Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, an effort supported by baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud that fuelled spurious legal challenges and the attack on the US Capitol.

Continue reading...

Mike Johnson will head to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Donald Trump

Hush money trial: Read the questionnaire potential Trump jurors will have to answer

Thursday 11 April 2024 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump looks set to go to trial in his hush money case in Manhattan after Judge Juan Merchan wrote to both sides about the jury selection.

On Monday, the judge wrote a letter to the legal team for Mr Trump as well as the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which included the full questionnaire.

Read the jury questionnaire for the Trump hush money trial in full

‘Donald Trump did this’: Biden campaign launches heartbreaking ad about abortion rights

Thursday 11 April 2024 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A new ad released by the Biden campaign on Monday ripped into Donald Trump’s stance on abortion, blaming the former president for the near-death of a Texas woman who was denied the procedure due to the state’s ban.

The 60-second ad, titled “Willow’s Box”, featured an emotional interview with Amanda Zurawski, who discussed the miscarriage of her baby – whom she wanted to name Willow – and the infection that almost killed her twice when she was denied an abortion.

In the video, Ms Zurawski is seen sobbing as the ad’s text explains doctors were forced to send her home after she had a miscarriage because of a state law banning abortions even if medically necessary following the repeal of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court in June 2022.

Martha McHardy has the story:

Biden campaign ad blames Trump for near-death of Texas woman who was denied abortion

Hush money trial: Trump attorneys trolled after they subpoena wrong person

Thursday 11 April 2024 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s lawyers have been trolled by a random man in Brooklyn after they subpoenaed him by mistake for the former president’s hush money trial.

In a filing from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, prosecutors revealed that Mr Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche had tried to subpoena former District Attorney Supervising Rackets Investigator Jeremy Rosenberg in March, to seek files related to the Republican presidential candidate’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

However, it transpired that Mr Blanche made an embarrassing mistake – sending the subpoena to a man from Brooklyn also called Jeremy Rosenberg.

Continue reading...

Trump attorneys subpoena wrong ‘Jeremy Rosenberg’ for hush money trial

Biden blames Trump for border chaos

Thursday 11 April 2024 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden faulted former president Donald Trump for the chaos at the US-Mexico border in an interview with Univision, and hinted that he might take executive actions to reduce migrant crossings.

Mr Biden made the remarks in an interview with Mexican journalist Enrique Acevedo as part of his efforts to improve his standing with Latino voters.

Eric Garcia has the story:

Biden blames Trump for border chaos in Univision interview

Mike Johnson suffers embarrassing defeat over government spying bill

Thursday 11 April 2024 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson watched his party revolt on another key rule vote on Wednesday as the House voted on reforms to the US’s domestic surveillance system.

A rebellion led by members of the House Freedom Caucus tanked a vote to advance the legislation, angry that the proposed reforms would not require FBI agents to acquire a warrant from a judge to spy on American citizens.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC:

Mike Johnson suffers embarrassing defeat over government spying bill

Trump says he won’t sign abortion ban into law

Thursday 11 April 2024 11:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump said he would not sign a national abortion ban into law if it were passed by Congress, his firmest remark yet on a national prohibition of the procedure.

When asked on Wednesday in Atlanta whether he would sign a federal abortion ban if it crossed his desk as president, Mr Trump replied, “No,” CNN reported.

Kelly Rissman unpacks the former president’s comments:

Trump says he won’t sign abortion ban into law

Biden jabs Trump over abortion

Thursday 11 April 2024 12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Kimmel roasts Trump with alternative jury questionnaire ahead of trial

Thursday 11 April 2024 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

With the trial set to begin on Monday, the late-night host must be limbering up for six weeks of this...

Jimmy Kimmel offers alternative jury questionnaire for Trump’s hush money trial

Editorial: Trump’s plan for peace in Ukraine means no peace at all

Thursday 11 April 2024 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president has long boasted that he could secure peace between Russia and Ukraine within 14 hours, and, in any case, the war would “never have happened” if he’d still been president in 2022.

In both scenarios, “peace” means secession of eastern Ukraine plus Crimea to Putin, and de facto recognition of the present sham so-called “people’s republics” as within Russia’s sphere of influence, if not inside the Russian Federation itself. With such a plan for peace, it makes no sense to arm Ukraine. So, The Donald isn’t going to. It is appeasement, with a beaming Trump grin on its face: the greatest betrayal of Europe since Stalin at Yalta managed to persuade the Allies to allow him to occupy most of Eastern Europe.

Read the full editorial from The Independent:

Editorial: Donald Trump’s plan for peace in Ukraine means no peace at all

Hush money trial: Trump loses third request for stay in as many days...

Thursday 11 April 2024 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

For a third consecutive day, a New York appeals court judge has rejected Donald Trump’s last-ditch attempts to stall his criminal trial on 34 charges connected to a hush money scheme to bury compromising stories of his alleged affairs.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump’s attorneys failed to convince an appellate court that the judge overseeing the criminal case has caused the former president “ongoing, unconstitutional and irreparable harms” and has denied Mr Trump’s chances at a fair trial.

State appeals court judges have already shot down two other attempts from Mr Trump’s attorneys to delay the trial this week. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on 15 April.

Continue reading...

Trump files another appeal to delay hush money trial days before jury selection

Trump judge scoffs at right-wing claim jailed January 6 rioters are ‘hostages’

Thursday 11 April 2024 14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s election interference case has rejected the notion that jailed defendants charged with some of the most violent crimes of the US Capitol riot are “hostages

It is the label Trump and his allies have frequently used to describe the prisoners.

Rich Booth reports:

Trump judge scoffs at right-wing claim jailed January 6 rioters are ‘hostages’

Thursday 11 April 2024 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Watch: Trump orders 30 milkshakes and ‘some chicken’ in visit to Atlanta Chick-Fil-A

Bidens host star-studded White House state dinner for Japanese PM

Thursday 11 April 2024 15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

With a guest list that a colleague referred to as a “QAnon fever dream”, it was a star-studded affair on Wednesday night as President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed A-listers, business leaders, politicians and tech moguls to the White House for a state dinner in honour of Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

See who showed up...

Jeff Bezos, Clintons and De Niro join Biden for star-studded state dinner with Japan

Trump and GOP beat hasty retreat from Arizona’s near total abortion ban

Thursday 11 April 2024 15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden reports:

Donald Trump and his party led an all-hands retreat from the furthest reaches of the pro-life standpoint this week after an Arizona Supreme Court decision snapped back into place the state’s century-old abortion ban which bars the practice in almost all cases.

The former president made his latest remarks on the topic after landing on Wednesday in Atlanta for a fundraiser; he told reporters upon his arrival that officials in Arizona could work together to bring the state’s abortion lawns back within the realm of “reason”. It was as close to a flat-out admission of “going too far” as one could expect from Mr Trump.

“It’ll be straightened out and as you know, it’s all about states’ rights,” he said. “It’ll be straightened out, and I’m sure that the governor and everybody else are going to bring it back into reason and that’ll be taken care of, I think, very quickly.”

Continue reading...

Trump and GOP retreat from near-total abortion ban in Arizona

Biden awards $830m in grants to toughen infrastructure against climate change

Thursday 11 April 2024 16:15 , AP

The Biden administration on Thursday awarded $830 million in grants to fund 80 projects aimed at toughening the nation’s ageing infrastructure against the harmful impacts of climate change.

The money is expected to improve bridges, roads, ports, rail, transit and other infrastructure across 37 states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands, particularly those battered by increasingly frequent extreme weather events brought on by the planet’s warming.

The funds come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2021 and add to other funding already flowing to states for similar projects, according to the US Department of Transportation.

It’s the latest of many federal efforts to address the negative effects of human-caused climate change. President Joe Biden has earmarked more than $50 billion toward climate-related projects through the infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act. He has emphasised the importance of climate resilience and adaptation as he seeks a second term.

Read the full article...

Trump defends Judge Cannon with baseless attacks on Biden, Garland and Smith

Thursday 11 April 2024 16:57 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has lashed out at President Joe Biden, Attorney General Jack Smith, and Special Counsel Jack Smith, baselessly claiming that they are “working overtime to try and illegally intimidate and harass respected Federal Judge Aileen Cannon” who is presiding over the federal classified documents case.

He further claims that they are “calling her terrible names, wrongfully threatening her with impeachment, and disrespecting her”. There is no evidence of this happening.

Here’s what the former president wrote:

Crooked Joe Biden and his crew of Hacks and Thugs, led by Merrick Garland and Deranged Jack Smith, are working overtime to try to illegally intimidate and harass respected Federal Judge Aileen Cannon. They are calling her terrible names, wrongfully threatening her with Impeachment, and disrespecting her, all because they want her to act like the dishonest, politically biased, and conflicted Judges in New York, and not like the fair and impartial Judge that she is. These Persecutors are using Third World tactics in a corrupt ploy to “play the ref.” However, no matter how hard he tries, Deranged Jack Smith will never be Coach Bobby Knight, a Basketball Legend for all time, who led the last undefeated team in College Basketball. Coach Knight would always “play the refs,” but not to change the last call, to change the next one….

But wait, there’s more...

Page 2: The Weaponization of Law Enforcement, the Harassment of Fair Judges, and rampant Election Interference cannot be allowed to continue. We have to end the Witch Hunts, win the most important Election in our History on November 5th, and Make America Great Again!

Here’s the latest on the case:

Judge in Trump’s classified files case agrees to latest request by prosecutors

Seth Meyers blows up claims that Trump is ‘pro-choice’

Thursday 11 April 2024 17:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Seth Meyers questions Donald Trump’s apparent flip-flopping over abortion laws and reacts to claims by a radio host that Mr Trump is the “pro-choice candidate” for leaving it up to the states.

The Late Night host ridiculed Mr Trump for trying to convince voters he is “moderate” on the subject of abortion, despite infamously taking credit for overturning Roe v Wade, a ruling that has now led to Arizona outlawing almost all abortions in the state.

Amelia Neath reports:

Seth Meyers blows up claims that Trump is ‘pro-choice’

Watch: List of potential witnesses in hush money trial released

Thursday 11 April 2024 17:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump campaign county chair was fired from police for threatening to rape boss’s wife and go on shooting spree

Thursday 11 April 2024 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A New Hampshire Republican state representative and Trump campaign county chair was reportedly fired from his job as a police officer in 2006 after making violent threats against colleagues following a suspension for having a relationship with a 16-year-old high school student, according to recently released documents.

Gustaf Kilander has the full story:

Trump campaign county chair was fired from police for threatening to rape boss’s wife

Trump and Johnson to promote bill to prevent non-citizens from voting, report says

Thursday 11 April 2024 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

USA Today reports that Speaker Mike Johnson and Donald Trump’s event at Mar-a-Lago tomorrow concerning “voter integrity” will focus on the unveiling of a bill to prevent non-citizens from voting in federal elections.

Per the outlet:

Johnson will hold a joint press conference with Trump on Friday at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence, where the top House Republican will tout the legislation to “elevate the issue of non-citizens voting in federal elections,” according to a person familiar with the planning.

Non-citizens are already not allowed to vote in federal elections in the United States, and it's not a common occurrence.

“Unauthorized Immigrants: Frequently Asked Questions”, published by the Congressional Research Service on 10 August 2022, states:

All non-U.S. citizens, including unauthorized immigrants, are ineligible to vote in federal elections. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (P.L. 104- 208, Division C, §216) introduced criminal penalties for noncitizens who vote in federal elections. The law specifies that noncitizens may vote in non-federal elections as authorized by states and localities. Some localities have permitted noncitizens to vote in local elections.

Trump’s peace plan rejected by David Cameron as he warns against ‘appeasing’ Putin

Thursday 11 April 2024 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

David Cameron has rejected a reported plan by Donald Trump to negotiate Ukrainian territory with Russia in order to end the war, warning against “appeasing” Vladimir Putin.

The foreign secretary, who was on the last day of a trip to the United States to push for more support for Kyiv, said it was vital to show “strength” rather than weakness in order to resolve the conflict.

Mr Trump, who hopes to become president again in November, is reportedly prepared to pressure Ukraine to give up Crimea and the Donbas border region to Russia to secure a peace agreement. The Donbas contains the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed the suggestion as “primitive”.

Kate Devlin reports for The Independent:

Cameron rejects Trump’s Ukraine peace plan as he warns against ‘appeasing’ Putin

Watch: Trailer released for Jan 6 documentary ‘The Sixth’

Thursday 11 April 2024 19:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A trailer has been released for a new documentary about the events of 6 January 2021 when the US Capitol was stormed by supporters of Donald Trump, and how the lives of people present that day were changed by that infamous day.

THE SIXTH is a visceral intersection of six extraordinary Americans whose lives will be forever changed by the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. This gripping and intensely personal documentary captures the pivotal moment in American history when democracy teetered on the precipice of collapse, asking us all to collectively define why we must fight for truth, and what is at stake when it is challenged.

Produced by Change Content and A24. Coming soon on Prime Video.

Alternative jury questionnaire for Trump’s hush money trial proposed by Jimmy Kimmel

Thursday 11 April 2024 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The late-night host Jimmy Kimmel injected a dose of humour into Donald Trump’s hush money trial proceedings on Tuesday night, offering an alternative questionnaire for jurors in the case.

The late-night host is presumably limbering up for six weeks of material from the trial...

Jimmy Kimmel offers alternative jury questionnaire for Trump’s hush money trial

After losing last-ditch attempt to halt hush-money case, Trump posts video blaming Biden for criminal trials

Thursday 11 April 2024 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump lashed out at Joe Biden in a Truth Social video, accusing the president of being a “criminal” as the Republican nominee continues to lose attempts to delay his string of criminal trials.

Mr Trump Donald Trump has lost three last-ditch bids in three days to delay his New York hush money trial, with jury selection set to begin on Monday 15 April.

The former president faces 88 felony counts across four state and federal prosecutions as he campaigns for a return to the White House.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, some brought by the federal government’s Department of Justice, which operates independently from the White House.

But that didn’t stop Mr Trump from accusing the president of “lawfare.”

Continue reading Martha McHardy and Alex Woodward’s report:

Trump posts video blaming Biden for criminal trials

Trump and GOP getting fed up with Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘attention’ seeking threats to Johnson

Thursday 11 April 2024 20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Donald Trump and plenty of Republicans are at their wits’ end when it comes to the threats of ousting Speaker Mike Johnson coming from Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Mr Johnson is set to appear at an “election integrity” event with the former president at Mar-a-Lago on Friday having strongly backed efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

Ms Greene has been threatening to oust Mr Johnson and filed a motion to vacate after the speaker made a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded.

People close to Mr Trump are not happy about Ms Greene threatening to push the House Republicans back into another chaotic speaker fight this close to the election, with one person calling it a “distraction. Unwanted. And just stupid,” when speaking to Politico.

Continue reading...

Trump is starting to get fed up with MTG’s ‘attention’ seeking threats to Johnson

Watch: Jeffries says Trump is lying about abortion

Thursday 11 April 2024 21:15 , Oliver O'Connell

New report suggests that Trump couldn’t pardon Jan 6 rioters after all

Thursday 11 April 2024 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump has promised to pardon supporters of his who have been charged, convicted, and in some cases imprisoned for crimes committed during the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

But according to a new report from anti-authoritarianism group Protect Democracy, he may not actually have that power even if he is returned to the White House after this year’s election.

That could be bad news for some of his base, as Andrew Feinberg reports:

Trump couldn’t pardon Jan 6 rioters even if he wins in November, suggests new report

Watch: Biden hits out at Trump over bipartisan border security bill

Thursday 11 April 2024 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Hush money trial: Yet, again Trump tests limit of gag order by insulting two key witnesses

Thursday 11 April 2024 22:45 , AP

Days after a New York judge expanded a gag order on Donald Trump to curtail “inflammatory” speech, the former president tested its limits by disparaging two key witnesses in his upcoming criminal hush money trial as liars.

In a post on his Truth Social platform Wednesday, Trump called his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the adult film actor Stormy Daniels “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!”

In an order first made in March, and then revised on April 1, Judge Juan Merchan barred Trump from making public statements about probable trial witnesses “concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

Continue reading the full article...

Second Trump super PAC has $27m in cash after Mar-a-Lago dinner, official says

Thursday 11 April 2024 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York Times reports that a new super PAC supporting Donald Trump has $27m in cash on hand, according to an official with the group.

“Right for America” raised $13.05m during the first fund-raising quarter of the year, the official said. An additional $12m was raised in connection with at an event at Mar-a-Lago, and $2m more was raised this month.

“We are thrilled by the support we have gotten in the few weeks we have been around,” said Lee Rizzuto, Right for America’s treasurer. “We look forward to doing our part in making sure Donald Trump is returned to the White House.”

The biggest donor to the group is Isaac Perlmutter, the former Marvel Entertainment chief executive who along with his wife, Laura, donated $10m, the Times reports citing a person familiar with the amount.

The Mar-a-Lago event was held on Tuesday night and was a dinner of approximately 25 people attended by Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiancée of Donald Trump Jr. Another fund-raising dinner is planned soon.

It is not expected that the group will start spending until closer to the general election in November.

The group is led by Sergio Gor, a longtime Trump associate who has published Mr Trump’s two post-White House books.

It is the second super PAC supporting Mr. Trump after Make America Great Again Inc.

Are Mike Johnson and Donald Trump suddenly a match made in heaven?

Thursday 11 April 2024 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden writes:

Speaker Mike Johnson is making a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago this week, where he and Donald Trump will be at work to keep each other afloat.

Beset on all sides by critics, Johnson and Trump are set to unveil a piece of legislation that largely amounts to messaging — an effort to fight the already rare issue of undocumented immigrants who try to vote in US elections. Municipalities in just three states — California, Vermont and Maryland — allow noncitizens, including those who crossed the border illegally, to vote in local elections. A greater number explicitly ban the practice in their state constitutions.

What the legislation can best be summed up as is a life raft for the embattled House speaker.

Continue reading...

Are Mike Johnson and Donald Trump now a match made in heaven — despite MTG?

Biden: Trump has ‘death grip’ on Republicans and is ‘primary threat’ to democracy

Thursday 11 April 2024 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Joe Biden says that Donald Trump currently has a “death grip” on the Republican party and that the former president would be the “primary threat” to US democracy should he be re-elected.

In a recent sit-down interview, the president said that Mr Trump would be “a dictator on day one” if he returned to the Oval Office, and that his control over the GOP was already “incredibly dangerous”.

Mike Bedigan reports:

Biden says Trump has ‘death grip’ on his party in Univision interview

New biopic to be shown at Cannes on Trump’s mentoring by mob lawyer Roy Cohn

Friday 12 April 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his mentor Roy Cohn — or at least fictionalised versions of them — are heading to Cannes.

A new film based on the former president’s life in the 1970s and 1980s will premier at the French film festival this year, with Sebastian Stan starring as Mr Trump, while Succession’s Jeremy Strong will play lawyer and prosecutor Roy Cohn.

The film, named The Apprentice, will explore Mr Trump’s career as an aspiring real estate tycoon in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s and will delve into his relationship with Roy Cohn, the New York City prosecutor who is thought to have had a considerable influence on his presidency.

Martha McHardy reports...

Trump’s mentoring by mob lawyer Roy Cohn at centre of new biopic to show at Cannes

Proud Boys, QAnon and Michael Cohen: What will potential hush money jurors be asked?

Friday 12 April 2024 01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

What do you do for a living? Are you married? Have you ever considered yourself a supporter of or belonged to the QAnon movement or the Proud Boys?

Those are among some of the 42 questions prospective jurors will be asked to answer in the first-ever criminal trial against a president when jury selection begins in Donald Trump’s hush money trial next week.

Alex Woodward reports:

Trump’s hush money jury will be asked about Proud Boys, QAnon and Michael Cohen

Hush money trial: Read the jury questionnaire in full

Friday 12 April 2024 02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump looks set to go to trial in his hush money case in Manhattan after Judge Juan Merchan wrote to both sides about the jury selection.

On Monday, the judge wrote a letter to the legal team for Mr Trump as well as the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which included the full questionnaire.

“The Court has closely scrutinized all of the proposed questions submitted by both parties, including those which the parties have agreed to. Guided by settled legal authority... the Court has modified some questions and excluded others. The resulting questionnaire is broad and exhaustive,” the judge wrote.

The questionnaire, which begins on page 11 of the 17-page document, includes 42 questions, as well as several sub-questions, such as if a prospective juror is a Democrat or a Republican, or if they’re a member of the Proud Boys, the QAnon movement, or Antifa.

Jury selection is set to begin on Monday 15 April.

Read the jury questionnaire for the Trump hush money trial in full

MTG’s ‘attention’ seeking threats to Johnson are starting to get old for Trump and Republicans

Friday 12 April 2024 03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Donald Trump and plenty of Republicans are at their wits’ end when it comes to the threats of ousting Speaker Mike Johnson coming from Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Mr Johnson is set to appear at an “election integrity” event with the former president at Mar-a-Lago on Friday having strongly backed efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

Ms Greene has been threatening to oust Mr Johnson and filed a motion to vacate after the speaker made a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded.

Read more...

Trump is starting to get fed up with MTG’s ‘attention’ seeking threats to Johnson

Special counsel urges SCOTUS to reject Trump’s immunity claim

Friday 12 April 2024 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Special counsel Jack Smith has urged the US Supreme Court to reject Donald Trump’s “unprecedented” claim that presidential immunity protects him from facing federal charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

In a 66-page legal filing on Monday, the special counsel’s office wrote that “a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law — including the president”.

Josh Marcus has the details...

Jack Smith urges Supreme Court to reject Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ immunity claim

Analysis: Trump is targeting Latino voters. Here’s how Biden seeks to win them back

Friday 12 April 2024 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

A new Axios/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed that just 41 per cent of Latinos have a favorable view of Biden. That number is slightly higher than Trump, who has an approval of 32 per cent among Latinos. Nevertheless, the devil is in the detail: Biden’s favorability rating has gone downward, while Trump’s has improved. In June of last year, Biden had a 47 per cent approval rating while Mr Trump came in low at 29 per cent.

Such numbers must be disappointing to the Biden campaign, considering officials have invested early and heavily in Latino outreach during this election cycle. The campaign has recently run ads not only in Spanish but in Spanglish.

Read the full article...

Trump is targeting Latino voters. Here’s how Biden seeks to win them back

Biden: Trump has ‘death grip’ on Republicans and is ‘primary threat’ to democracy

Friday 12 April 2024 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Joe Biden says that Donald Trump currently has a “death grip” on the Republican party and that the former president would be the “primary threat” to US democracy should he be re-elected.

In a recent sit-down interview, the president said that Mr Trump would be “a dictator on day one” if he returned to the Oval Office, and that his control over the GOP was already “incredibly dangerous”.

Mike Bedigan reports:

Biden says Trump has ‘death grip’ on his party in Univision interview

Trump Jan 6 case judge scoffs at right-wing claim jailed Capitol rioters are ‘hostages’

Friday 12 April 2024 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s election interference case has rejected the notion that jailed defendants charged with some of the most violent crimes of the US Capitol riot are “hostages

It is the label Trump and his allies have frequently used to describe the prisoners.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the Capitol riot defendants who remain jailed in Washington, DC, don’t deserve to be called hostages or heroes for their actions during the mob’s attack on 6 January 2021.

Rich Booth reports:

Trump judge scoffs at right-wing claim jailed January 6 rioters are ‘hostages’

Hush money trial: Trump tests limits of gag order (again)

Friday 12 April 2024 11:45 , AP

Days after a New York judge expanded a gag order on Donald Trump to curtail “inflammatory” speech, the former president tested its limits by disparaging two key witnesses in his upcoming criminal hush money trial as liars.

In a post on his Truth Social platform Wednesday, Trump called his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the adult film actor Stormy Daniels “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!”

In an order first made in March, and then revised on April 1, Judge Juan Merchan barred Trump from making public statements about probable trial witnesses “concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

Read on...

Trump tests limits of gag order with post insulting 2 likely witnesses in criminal trial

Second Trump super PAC has $27m in cash after Mar-a-Lago dinner, official says

Friday 12 April 2024 12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York Times reports that a new super PAC supporting Donald Trump has $27m in cash on hand, according to an official with the group.

“Right for America” raised $13.05m during the first fund-raising quarter of the year, the official said. An additional $12m was raised in connection with at an event at Mar-a-Lago, and $2m more was raised this month.

“We are thrilled by the support we have gotten in the few weeks we have been around,” said Lee Rizzuto, Right for America’s treasurer. “We look forward to doing our part in making sure Donald Trump is returned to the White House.”

The biggest donor to the group is Isaac Perlmutter, the former Marvel Entertainment chief executive who along with his wife, Laura, donated $10m, the Times reports citing a person familiar with the amount.

The Mar-a-Lago event was held on Tuesday night and was a dinner of approximately 25 people attended by Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiancée of Donald Trump Jr. Another fund-raising dinner is planned soon.

It is not expected that the group will start spending until closer to the general election in November.

The group is led by Sergio Gor, a longtime Trump associate who has published Mr Trump’s two post-White House books.

It is the second super PAC supporting Mr. Trump after Make America Great Again Inc.

Coming up today: Speaker Johnson heads to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Trump

Friday 12 April 2024 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson will join Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago for a “joint announcement on election integrity” on Friday, according to the Louisiana congressman’s campaign.

GOP officials have promoted so-called “election integrity” legislation in the wake of the 2020 elections, echoing many of the false claims promoted by Mr Trump and his allies in his ongoing attempts to undermine the outcome and discredit election officials and policies that certified his loss.

Continue reading...

Mike Johnson will head to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Donald Trump

USA Today reported on Thursday that the vent at Mar-a-Lago will focus on the unveiling of a bill to prevent non-citizens from voting in federal elections.

Per the outlet:

Johnson will hold a joint press conference with Trump on Friday at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence, where the top House Republican will tout the legislation to “elevate the issue of non-citizens voting in federal elections,” according to a person familiar with the planning.

Non-citizens are already not allowed to vote in federal elections in the United States, and it’s not a common occurrence.

As noted in “Unauthorized Immigrants: Frequently Asked Questions”, published by the Congressional Research Service on 10 August 2022, which states:

All non-U.S. citizens, including unauthorized immigrants, are ineligible to vote in federal elections. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (P.L. 104- 208, Division C, §216) introduced criminal penalties for noncitizens who vote in federal elections. The law specifies that noncitizens may vote in non-federal elections as authorized by states and localities. Some localities have permitted noncitizens to vote in local elections.

New biopic centres on Trump’s mentoring by mob lawyer Roy Cohn

Friday 12 April 2024 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his mentor Roy Cohn — or at least fictionalised versions of them — are heading to Cannes.

A new film based on the former president’s life in the 1970s and 1980s will premier at the French film festival this year, with Sebastian Stan starring as Mr Trump, while Succession’s Jeremy Strong will play lawyer and prosecutor Roy Cohn.

The film, named The Apprentice, will explore Mr Trump’s career as an aspiring real estate tycoon in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s and will delve into his relationship with Roy Cohn, the New York City prosecutor who is thought to have had a considerable influence on his presidency.

Martha McHardy has the story:

Trump’s mentoring by mob lawyer Roy Cohn at centre of new biopic to show at Cannes

Report says Trump couldn’t pardon Jan 6 rioters even if he wins in November

Friday 12 April 2024 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Former president Donald Trump has promised to pardon supporters of his who have been charged, convicted, and in some cases imprisoned for crimes committed during the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

But according to a new report from anti-authoritarianism group Protect Democracy, he may not actually have that power even if he is returned to the White House after this year’s election.

The report, titled Checking the Pardon Power: Constitutional Limitations & Options for Preventing Abuse, lays out a number of circumstances in which a presidential pardon would not be valid because it would not be a legitimate use of the president’s authority to grant reprieves for “offenses against the United States”.

Continue reading...

Trump couldn’t pardon Jan 6 rioters even if he wins in November, suggests new report

How much hairspray can a man need? Oh, wait...

Friday 12 April 2024 14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s valet said he mistook boxes containing secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate for boxes of hairspray, according to a transcript of an FBI interview.

According to the May 2022 interview transcript, the former president’s valet Walt Nauta repeatedly insisted that he thought the boxes of classified documents on Mr Trump’s property contained news clippings, hairspray, shampoo, picture frames and other miscellaneous materials.

Martha McHardy has the details...

Trump’s valet ‘thought he was hoarding hairspray’ in boxes

Johnson and Greene locked in conversation as House votes on FISA reauthorisation,

Friday 12 April 2024 14:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Speaker Mike Johnson and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene were locked in an extensive conversation on the floor of the House of Representatives as lawmakers held the first of two votes on the rule for the two-year FISA reauthorisation bill.

Mr Johnson’s job as speaker is under threat from Ms Greene after she filed a motion to vacate the speakership.

The House voted along party lines to end debate on the FISA bill rule.

The House is now voting on a scond rule for four bills including reauthorising FISA Section 702 surveillance authority beyond the 19 April deadline to 2026.

An earlier version of FISA bill had a five-year reauthorisation and the first rule was defeated with 19 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting No.

Here’s what you need to know about the first vote:

Mike Johnson suffers embarrassing defeat over government spying bill

Trump and Johnson really, really want to make sure non-citizens are sure they can’t vote (they can’t)

Friday 12 April 2024 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Amelia Neath reports:

Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson are planning to push a bill to ban non-citizens from voting during an appearance at Mar-a-Lago – something which is already illegal.

Mr Johnson is set to hold a press conference at the former president’s residence on Friday, part of longstanding Republican attack lines against Democrats. There is little evidence to suggest that non-citizen voting is a widespread issue throughout the different states. In a study of the 2016 election by the Brennan Center, researchers found that just 0.0001 per cent of voters across 42 jurisdictions, encompassing 23.5m votes, were suspected to be non-citizens who managed to vote - that is an estimated 30 incidents in total.

However, Donald Trump has incessantly laid down claims of election fraud and has subsequently spoken about his unsupported theory that migrants are in the United States because they are being “signed up” to vote.

Continue reading...

Trump and Johnson push for ban on non-US citizens voting. It is already illegal

Hush money trial: Secret Service, NYPD and New York courts ready to protect Trump’s case

Friday 12 April 2024 14:52 , Oliver O'Connell

The US Secret Service, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Unified Court System have spoken about security arrangements ahead of the start of Donald Trump’s hush money trial on Monday 15 April.

“The US Secret Service is prepared to effectively carry out our protective mission here in New York. While operational security precludes us from going into specifics, the US Secret Service will not seek any special accommodations outside of what would be required to ensure the continued safety of the former president. We have the utmost trust and confidence in our law enforcement partners, including the NYPD and New York State Unified Court System, and appreciate their continued dedication and professionalism.”

Special Agent in Charge Patrick J Freaney, US Secret Service’s New York Field Office

“Planning for high-profile security events is very familiar ground for the New York City Police Department. Our longstanding relationships with each of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, including the US Secret Service and the New York State Unified Court System, will help secure the courthouse and everyone inside, facilitate peaceful assembly outside the building, and maintain the safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding areas for the duration of the proceedings.”

Police Commissioner Edward A Caban, New York City Police Department

“The safety and security of all who enter our New York State courthouses is paramount. The New York State Court Officers corps is highly trained and experienced in managing high-profile trials. In coordination with the US Secret Service and the NYPD, we stand ready and able to protect the safety of everyone in the courthouse during this trial, maintaining a secure and safe courtroom environment in facilitating the needs of the court, the trial participants, the media, and the general public.”

Chief of Department Michael Magliano, New York State Unified Court System

House to send Mayorkas articles of impeachment to Senate on Tuesday

Friday 12 April 2024 15:03 , Oliver O'Connell

The House will send articles impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on Tuesday, NBC News reports citing House Homeland Security chairman and impeachment manager Rep Mark Green.

Transmitting the articles was delayed nearly a week at the behest of some Republican senators.

Biden to visit Pennsylvania

Friday 12 April 2024 15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Per the White House:

President Joe Biden to Travel to Pennsylvania

From Tuesday, April 16 to Wednesday, April 17, the President will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, April 17, he will travel to the Pittsburgh-area of Pennsylvania. The President will then return to the White House. On Thursday, April 18, he will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rule for FISA bill passes

Friday 12 April 2024 15:33 , Oliver O'Connell

The rule for FISA bill passed in a 213-208 party-line vote after changes were made to appease the 19 conservatives who tanked the earlier procedural vote. It will instead be reauthorised for just two years should it pass. It is a program deemed by most to be fundamental to national security, including stopping the flow of fentanyl into the US, as well monitoring terrorist threats.

Rep Tim Burchett of Tennessee tweeted: “I voted for the rule to bring FISA reauthorization to a vote because there are amendments on the table that could address its greatest problems. It wasn't a vote to pass the bill. We should vote for these amendments that would bring us closer to a bill that could get my vote.”

One amendment tabled by a coalition of lawmakers from both parties would bar warrantless surveillance of US citizens. It is backed by Andy Biggs, Pramila Jaypal, Jerry Nadler, Warren Davidson, Zoe Lofgren, and Jim Jordan.

Hush money trial: How does jury selection work?

Friday 12 April 2024 15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The first criminal trial of a former US president will begin with jury selection on Monday.

The hush money case surrounds 34 charges of business fraud following allegations that Donald Trump instructed staff that hush money payments be logged as legal expenses.

Steve Duffy at Trial Behavior Consulting tells The Independent that because of the demographics of Manhattan, where the trial is taking place, the jury is likely to be left of centre as well as fairly well off and more educated than the country at large.

“One thing to understand, and this is true about a lot of things about the jury system, is that it’s different everywhere,” he says, noting that judges have a lot of discretion on how to conduct the process. “Every state, really every county has different specific procedures for just about everything.”

Gustaf Kilander explains what will happen next week:

As Trump’s hush money case goes to trial, how does jury selection work?

Biden vows to defend Philippines from China

Friday 12 April 2024 16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Joe Biden has said Washington’s commitment to defending its allies in East Asia was “ironclad” as he promised to back Philippines against China’s attacks in the disputed South China Sea.

The US president met Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida at the White House on Thursday as tensions and concerns about provocative Chinese military action in the Indo-Pacific continued to surge.

“The United States’ defence commitments to Japan and to the Philippines are ironclad,” the US president said during his first-ever trilateral summit with the leaders from both the Asian nations.

Arpan Rai reports:

Biden vows to defend Philippines from any attack in South China Sea

Biden campaign pours scorn on Trump-Johnson meeting

Friday 12 April 2024 16:33 , Oliver O'Connell

Ammar Moussa, director of Joe Biden's rapid response team, made the following comments regarding Speaker Mike Johnson's meeting with Donald Trump:

“It should come as no surprise that two losers – one trying to keep his job, one trying to get his old job – are teaming up to spread lies and misinformation to throw red meat to their base, but all [today] will do is serve as a reminder that Trump and his MAGA allies are too extreme and dangerous to be anywhere near the Oval Office.”

Trump asks Democrats to vote for RFK Jr in bizarre video

Friday 12 April 2024 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has asked Democrats to vote for independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr in a bizarre video posted to Truth Social.

Mr Trump called Mr Kennedy Jr “the most radical left candidate in race” but insisted that he was “a better man” than his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

“But he’s got some nice things about him, I happen to like him,” Mr Trump added, before referencing RFK Jr’s one-time support for the so-called “Green New Scam”, a reference to the Democrat-proposed Green New Deal that aimed to tackle climate change.

Mr Trump went on to say that Mr Kennedy Jr should “take votes away from crooked Joe Biden”.

Continue reading...

Donald Trump asks Democrats to vote for RFK Jr in bizarre video

Trump begins his day with Truth Social posting spree

Friday 12 April 2024 16:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has posted, reposted, or shared articles thirty times so far this morning on Truth Social.

The former president began with this gem:

And closed out the spree by writing:

I am so proud of Truth Social, because I believe it represents the Make America Great Again Movement, and it shows the Spirit and Love of our Country. If people who believe in putting America First and want to Make America Great Again, support TRUTH, we will be your Voice like never before, and a Real Voice is what our Country needs, because we are in decline, and must bring America to Greatness. Think of this as a Movement, the Greatest Movement in the History of our Country. We are going to Save our Country, and Make America Great Again, GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!

What is in decline is the share price of Truth Social’s parent company Trump Media & Technology Group, which has fallen from a high of almost $80 down to just above $30 today.

Trump’s fixation on washing machines makes its way to the House

Friday 12 April 2024 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The US House of Representatives Rules Committee takes up the following “messaging bills” next week — that will not become law but will please Donald Trump:

"Stop Unaffordable Dishwasher Standards Act"

"Affordable Air Conditioning Act"

"Refrigerator Freedom Act"

"Clothes Dryers Reliability Act"

"Liberty in Laundry Act"

"Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act"

Scott MacFarlane of CBS News reports that Democrats plan some amendments to these appliance-related bills, including one that'd require the House debate and pass Ukraine aid.

Rep Jared Moskowitz of Florida offers an amendment that would “commission a study to determine the number of appliances confiscated by the Biden-Harris administration”.

The Democrat lawmaker tweeted this:

Watch: Marjorie Taylor Greene defends Putin saying she hates everyone who supports aid for Ukraine

Friday 12 April 2024 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Experts: Trump could go to jail for a hush money scheme that deceived voters

Friday 12 April 2024 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

Donald Trump is charged in two criminal cases for his alleged attempts to overturn 2020 presidential election results, relying on pressure campaigns and baseless legal challenges to cling on to power after losing to President Joe Biden.

But his upcoming trial on charges connected to a so-called hush-money scheme to bury politically compromising stories of his alleged affairs is also an election interference case, one that stems from his efforts to win the White House in 2016 by any means, according to prosecutors and legal experts.

The trial, which is scheduled to begin on 15 April, serves as a “precursor” to his 2020 cases, all of which involve Mr Trump “deceiving voters to grasp power,” according to Norm Eisen, former special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee majority during Mr Trump’s first impeachment.

And it’s one that could land him in jail.

Continue reading...

Trump could go to jail for a hush money scheme that deceived voters, experts say

Report: Potential blow for Trump as lawyer-turned-witness leaves legal team

Friday 12 April 2024 18:31 , Oliver O'Connell

A longtime attorney for Donald Trump who is expected to be a key witness in a criminal case targeting the former president’s possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago has reportedly left his legal team.

Evan Corcoran, who recused himself from the Florida case last year, is no longer representing the former president in any of his criminal and civil cases, according to CNN, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Mr Corcoran quickly found himself at the centre of the classified documents case after he was hired to represent the former president, who faces a 40-count indictment alleging violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction, and the illegal removal of federal records after he left the White House.

His prolific notes and voice recordings that reportedly detail his exchanges with Mr Trump have become central to special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution, revealing how the former president allegedly misled his then-attorney about his mishandling of sensitive documents and attempts to evade a subpoena.

Read Alex Woodward’s full report...

Watch: House passes FISA reauthorisation bill

Friday 12 April 2024 18:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Georgia Lt Gov Burt Jones’s election interference case to be decided by special prosecutor

Friday 12 April 2024 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A special prosecutor has been assigned to look into whether Georgia Lt Gov Burt Jones should face criminal charges over efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state.

The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia announced Thursday that its executive director, Pete Skandalakis, will handle the matter after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was barred from prosecuting Jones as part of her election interference case against former President Donald Trump and others.

Jones was one of 16 state Republicans who signed a certificate stating that Mr Trump had won Georgia and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors even though Democrat Joe Biden had been declared the winner in the state. As a state senator in the wake of the election, he also sought a special session of Georgia’s Legislature aimed at overturning Biden’s narrow win in the state.

Continue reading...

Special prosecutor to decide if Georgia Lt Gov will face election subversion charges

‘This is what a second Trump term looks like’: Harris visits Arizona amid abortion ban outrage

Friday 12 April 2024 19:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Amelia Neath reports:

Vice-president Kamala Harris is set to hit out at Donald Trump over the recent Arizona abortion ban based on Civil War-era legislation in a visit to the state on Friday.

The Biden campaign has recently released statements blaming the former president for “ripping away fundamental rights” when Roe v Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 2022.

Ms Harris, who has been at the forefront of leading the reaction towards the overturning of Roe v Wade and abortion rights, is now slated to speak on the recent Arizona abortion ban in Tuscon and will condemn Mr Trump.

Continue reading...

Harris to hit out at Trump over Arizona abortion ban during visit to state

Watch: Johnson won’t say if he’ll discuss motion to vacate with Trump

Friday 12 April 2024 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Fallon teases Trump over how he’ll next seek to delay trial

Friday 12 April 2024 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Fallon joked that Donald Trump will even use a creative defence – grieving the loss of OJ Simpson – to delay his imminent hush money trial after the former president faced a string of rejected attempts to stall the criminal trial from moving forward.

Kelly Rissman has the story:

Jimmy Fallon jokes Trump will try to delay trial to mourn OJ Simpson’s death

Veepstakes update: Who will Trump pick as running mate...

Friday 12 April 2024 20:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Per The Washington Post:

At least a dozen people are under consideration for the job, one top Trump adviser told The Washington Post. That list is “growing, not shrinking,” and Trump keeps adding names, said the adviser, who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail private conversations.

But Trump is nowhere near making up his mind, and seems in no hurry to do so, according to five people close to him. He watches TV and judges potential candidates carefully — not only what they say, but also their body language and whether they seem confident and convincing.

“Where is my Cary Grant?” Trump repeatedly asks.

Update: Trump and Johnson to speak at 4.30pm

Friday 12 April 2024 20:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump again makes false claims about the execution of babies

Friday 12 April 2024 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has again made false claims about Democrats wanting “abortion up to the moment of birth, and even execution of babies” while he weighs in on the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion that reinstated “an inappropriate Law from 1864”.

Here’s what the former president wrote:

The Supreme Court in Arizona went too far on their Abortion Ruling, enacting and approving an inappropriate Law from 1864. So now the Governor and the Arizona Legislature must use HEART, COMMON SENSE, and ACT IMMEDIATELY, to remedy what has happened. Remember, it is now up to the States and the Good Will of those that represent THE PEOPLE. We must ideally have the three Exceptions for Rape, Incest, and Life of the Mother. This is important! Democrats are the EXTREMISTS - They support Abortion up to the moment of birth, and even execution of Babies, in some cases, after birth. This should not be. Arizona Legislature, please act as fast as possible!

Here’s how Mr Trump began his week talking about abortion:

Trump says he’d leave abortion rights to states in Truth Social video

Majorie Taylor Greene defends Putin and lays in to Johnson

Friday 12 April 2024 21:48 , Oliver O'Connell

Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene laid into Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Friday, criticising his support for a legislative package that includes funding for Ukraine and accusing him of bothering Donald Trump by meeting with him.

Speaking with Steve Bannon on his show War Room, Ms Greene said that Mr Johnson supporting a US spending bill that would send funding to Ukraine made her “stomach flip over”.

Ariana Baio reports on what else she had to say:

Marjorie Taylor Greene defends Putin as she lays into Johnson ahead of Trump meeting

Watch LIVE: Trump and Speaker Johnson hold press conference in Florida

Friday 12 April 2024 21:57 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward previews what to expect from the speaker and the former president today at Mar-a-Lago:

The man who is third in line for the presidency and the potential next president of the US are set to appear behind a lectern bearing Mar-a-Lago’s logo on Friday afternoon to endorse a bogus narrative that American elections are corrupted by fraud.

The event is likely to keep alive bogus conspiracy theories designed to sow doubt about election outcomes in the event Donald Trump loses a second time.

House Speaker Mike Johnson played a central role among members of Congress in rejecting Mr Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, and he took the lead in a brief to the US Supreme Court with 125 other House Republicans to support Mr Trump’s failed legal challenge to overturn President Joe Biden’s victories in several states.

He later voted against certifying Mr Biden’s win during a joint session of Congress on 6 January 2021, even after the Trump-fuelled riots at the Capitol.

There is virtually no evidence that noncitizens are voting in federal elections at a scale that Mr Trump has baselessly alleged, continuing his false narrative of widespread election fraud that paved the way for a mob of his supporters to storm the US Capitol to reject the results by force.

Here, Mr Trump’s ongoing claims that elections are “rigged” against him dovetail with his anti-immigrant platform, as Republicans make US-Mexico border security a central pillar of 2024 campaigns.

Friday 12 April 2024 22:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Watch: Johnson floats legislation that voters must prove US citizenship

Friday 12 April 2024 22:26 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump appears displeased with Greene’s motion to vacate Johnson

Friday 12 April 2024 22:28 , Oliver O'Connell

“It’s unfortunate that people bring it up because right now we have much bigger problems.”

Trump says jury selection is ‘largely luck'

Friday 12 April 2024 22:29 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump says he will testify at his New York hush money trial (he won’t).

“That’s not a trial. That’s a scam,” he told reporters at Mar-a-Lago this afternoon.

Asked what he’ll be looking for in jury selection, he said that “jury selection is largely luck.”

“It’s very unfair we’re having a trial there,” he said. His attorneys have tried to move the case out of Manhattan.

Justice Juan Merchan has a “tremendous conflict” at a “level that nobody has seen before, Mr Trump said. His attorneys also are trying to get him to recuse himself from the case because of his daughter’s political consulting work. All of those arguments have been rejected.

“They don’t give us anything. It’s a witch hunt that is taking place in New York,” he said.

Trump baselessly blames Biden for criminal trials (again)

Friday 12 April 2024 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has lashed out at President Joe Biden in a Truth Social video accusing the president of being a “criminal” after he failed to delay an imminent criminal trial in Manhattan. his string of criminal trials.

Mr Trump lost three last-ditch bids in three days to delay his New York hush money trial, with jury selection set to begin on Monday.

The former president faces 88 felony counts across four state and federal prosecutions as he campaigns for a return to the White House. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

Mr Trump continues to baselessly assert that he is the victim of a Democratic-led conspiracy against him, despite the fact that his criminal prosecutions were recommended by grand juries of members of the public. His federal cases are overseen by an independent special counsel under the US Department of Justice.

That hasn’t stopped Mr Trump from accusing his rival of “lawfare” against him.

Martha McHardy and Alex Woodward report:

Trump posts video blaming Biden for criminal trials

White House: ‘American people see through today’s stunt'

Friday 12 April 2024 22:34 , Oliver O'Connell

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates released the following statement about the joint press conference between Speaker Mike Johnson and Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago:

As fact-checkers across the board have made clear, it is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. The American people see through today's stunt, which amounts to House Republicans wasting time on a redundant proposal as they continue to choose fentanyl traffickers over the Border Patrol Union by delaying the toughest bipartisan border security deal in modern history. And as was proven by the midterms, the American people continue to be revolted by the debunked 2020 election conspiracy theories that cost brave police officers their lives; just like they're revolted by the violent rhetoric that accompanies the repetition of those dangerous lies. Being in Mar-a-Lago does send a message about election integrity and the rule of law — it's just not a message the Speaker should ever want.

Hush money trial: Judge denies Trump bid to adjourn on pre-trial publicity

Friday 12 April 2024 22:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Justice Juan Merchan has denied Donald Trump’s bid to adjourn his hush money trial due to pre-trial publicity.

The solution to the publicity is “thorough, thoughtful and effective voir dire”, Judge Merchan writes.

Watch: Johnson proposes proof of citizenship bill

Friday 12 April 2024 22:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump and GOP are starting to get fed up with MTG...

Friday 12 April 2024 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Donald Trump and plenty of Republicans are at their wits’ end when it comes to the threats of ousting Speaker Mike Johnson coming from Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Trump is starting to get fed up with MTG’s ‘attention’ seeking threats to Johnson

Watch: In 22 years just 50 cases of non-citizens voting

Friday 12 April 2024 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Report: Trump couldn’t pardon Jan 6 rioters even if he wins in November

Saturday 13 April 2024 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Former president Donald Trump has promised to pardon supporters of his who have been charged, convicted, and in some cases imprisoned for crimes committed during the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

But according to a new report from anti-authoritarianism group Protect Democracy, he may not actually have that power even if he is returned to the White House after this year’s election.

The report, titled Checking the Pardon Power: Constitutional Limitations & Options for Preventing Abuse, lays out a number of circumstances in which a presidential pardon would not be valid because it would not be a legitimate use of the president’s authority to grant reprieves for “offenses against the United States”.

Continue reading...

Trump couldn’t pardon Jan 6 rioters even if he wins in November, suggests new report

Watch: ‘We do not have a problem in this country of people who are here illegally voting'

Saturday 13 April 2024 00:20 , Oliver O'Connell

New biopic focuses on Trump’s mentoring by mob lawyer Roy Cohn

Saturday 13 April 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his mentor Roy Cohn — or at least fictionalised versions of them — are heading to Cannes.

A new film based on the former president’s life in the 1970s and 1980s will premier at the French film festival this year, with Sebastian Stan starring as Mr Trump, while Succession’s Jeremy Strong will play lawyer and prosecutor Roy Cohn.

The film, named The Apprentice, will explore Mr Trump’s career as an aspiring real estate tycoon in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s and will delve into his relationship with Roy Cohn, the New York City prosecutor who is thought to have had a considerable influence on his presidency.

Martha McHardy has the details:

Trump’s mentoring by mob lawyer Roy Cohn at centre of new biopic to show at Cannes

How much hairspray can one man possibly need? Oh, wait...

01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s valet said he mistook boxes containing secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate for boxes of hairspray, according to a transcript of an FBI interview.

According to the May 2022 interview transcript, the former president’s valet Walt Nauta repeatedly insisted that he thought the boxes of classified documents on Mr Trump’s property contained news clippings, hairspray, shampoo, picture frames and other miscellaneous materials.

Martha McHardy has the story:

Trump’s valet ‘thought he was hoarding hairspray’ in boxes

Report: Potential blow for Trump as lawyer-turned-witness leaves legal team

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A longtime attorney for Donald Trump who is expected to be a key witness in a criminal case targeting the former president’s possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago has reportedly left his legal team.

Evan Corcoran, who recused himself from the Florida case last year, is no longer representing the former president in any of his criminal and civil cases, according to CNN, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Alex Woodward reports:

Potential blow for Trump as lawyer-turned-witness leaves legal team, report says